Digging In

I am digging my claws in and not budging an inch.  Finally I seem to have gained a permanent home in a good neighborhood, a good schedule, and a healthy disposition.  Addie and I have taken up residence in the highly sought after, cooler than you but not trying to be, tree lined, Italian flag painted, vinyl sided, overly caffeinated, booze saturated, neighborhood of Williamsburg.  We have found ourselves in a two family home on a quiet street which most importantly has its own stoop.  The apartment itself is normal in such a way that you have already seen it, two bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, some hardwood floors, enough windows to keep it light… you have seen it a hundred times in your life, it is to a T, an apartment.  Outside though… outside is another story all together.  Stairs.  Big wonderful stairs that perch above our street and below our trees and happen to be the ideal spot to drink a beer, eat a baguette, read a book, talk to friends, and people watch.  Summer evenings and mornings should always be based around a fine stoop, and it’s nice to find that friends flock to stoops (and beer) like moths to a flame.  What’s even better is Jack the Terrier who graces us occasionally with his regal self lounging across our bottom step, it’s nice to once again have a good dog around, even better when you don’t have to walk, feed, or clean up after him.  Swing by sometime and grab a beer, there are plenty of steps to pull up and take a load off.  Soon enough Addie will have finished her Stair Chair creation, a chair with the back two legs chopped to the level of the stairs so you can sit it on the stoop anywhere and sit properly.  Diagrams and instructions to follow some day.

I am going to attempt to shorten my posts in order to make them more frequent.  While a novel length post summarizing all of the previous months is more convenient, I don’t think it is able to strike the finer points of a story.  So for tomorrow: the distillery, and a cognac tasting at Daniel.

Pictures to come as soon as I gather them from my herd of electronic companions which are apparently frying my brain with radio waves.  Until then, please enjoy this song from Wye Oak, my current obsession.  You need this album.

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Jumpin on the Brooklyn Band Wagon

I am attempting to resume posting at much more regular intervals.  So in the spirit of getting back into a routine here is a quick blurb about spending more time in Brooklyn.

I have been riding the L train to and from the city quite often lately.  Back and forth under the river in between Manhattan and Brooklyn, a quick transition from the East Village to Williamsburg.  Fortunately it is only 1 stop and 3 minutes away, and more to the point only 0.5 miles as the bird flies.  The more time that I spend in the yonder borough, the more time I am convinced I want to head permanently out that direction.  The cool, calm, and quiet atmosphere seems like such an escape from the bustle of Avenue A.  Lately we have been drawn out there for any number of reasons from birthdays to batching bourbon, and the more time we spend out there the more we want to be there!

Our most recent adventures include a night out for Tanner’s birthday which revolved around a cool bar called Full Circle Bar.  Based around the classic and never tiring Skee Ball, this bar offers beer and ball rolling.  Epic duels ensued:

Shannon, Addie, and Tanner going for glory.

This morning Addie and I cruised out to Brooklyn to meet up with Tanner and Jackie for brunch before she had to ship back to Florida.  After finishing up brunch we exited and began to wander to our favorite coffee spot when we realized we had been marooned on an island of concrete surrounded by marathon runners.  In order to get to our coffee we had to cross the river of charged up marathoner… 50,000 of them.  Actually it was great to see the marathon going through Williamsburg in route to touching all five boroughs.  It definitely brought up the urge in me to start training to race.  Here is a view taken from my phone of the almost impassible train of runners.

This week is going to be absolute chaos out here, but there should be plenty to write about at the end of it all.  Until then I am going to be cranking out booze, and learning how to whip up premium cocktails.  Hope all is well in your world.

Rockin’ and Rooftops

Life is trucking along as usual out here on our little island, but I thought I would take the time to put up a little blog on the smaller stuff that keeps us ticking.  Shannon has been immersed in her classes and work, leaving very little time for anything but working hard and eating pastries, not all together a bad existence.  I am focusing on making the final

Shan headed to class.

preparations for our new store in Brooklyn, and attempting to keep our East Village location running smooth, rarely an easy task.  Our days seem to be pretty full lately, and unfortunately Shannon and I rarely overlap for any significant amount of time.  Hopefully as we adapt to our completely different schedules we will be able to carve out some semblance of routine.  I have officially come to regret my first really big mess up out here, missing Tears For Fears in concert.  Yes, the most rockingness band ever to take stage was playing on our back porch a few nights ago, but Addie, Shan, and I found out too late and were unable to procure tickets to what could only be described as heaven.  Here are some of the activities I have been distracting myself with to deal with the mourning of missing such a potentially life altering event…

Brooklyn: The home of a new Crif Dogs, and possibly a new home for us!  Our good friend Tanner has been trying to get us out to Brooklyn for months, but due to the fact that it would require us to leave our island as well as have to spend a whole 3 minutes on a subway train meant that we couldn’t be bothered.  What is Brooklyn when compared to Manhattan anyways?  Well after some arm twisting we finally zipped under the East River in a tube, and popped out into what can only be described as a neighborhood.  Yes, as it turns out the people who live in Brooklyn prefer to enjoy a quieter, cleaner, and more normal existence, or in other words: everything I am ready to regain.  The East Village is a wonderful place, but after spending some time wandering the quieter streets of Brooklyn I think I am ready to have a little more peace and quiet in my life!  While this decision is nowhere close to being made, it is something that Shan and I are currently mulling over.  One of the highlights of our morning out there was a coffee shop called Blue Bottle.  Apparently already very popular on the west coast, there is one location in Williamsburg that is roasting its own coffee and is an amazing retreat from the hot bustle of the summer city streets.  They use some kind of drop system that I hadn’t seen before, but beyond however it works, it looks really cool.

One of the big draws to live in certain buildings in the city is a rooftop garden or deck area.  Many of our friends who live around the city have beautiful decks and lookouts from their own roof.  Usually they are furnished with decking, tables, chairs, bbq’s, gardens… etc, and provide the perfect place to relax and socialize on warm summer nights.  Thanks to some adventurous friends we had over at the apartment the other night we have recently discovered that we have access to our own roof, and unfortunately while it is not furnished for comfort, it does provide a pretty neat view of our neighborhood.  After everyone had been up there for awhile it became official, we will undertake the task of creating a rooftop lounge.  Here is why:

Empire State Building

Downtown

Our Neighborhood

Tanner Walle is a man of opportunity.  Spur of the moment he decided to take up a club owner on the offer to play a one man acoustic show in the Lower East Side last night.  Due to the timing and advanced notice, none, the crowd was slightly limited, but the performance was absolutely spot on.  As it always seems to work out the clip that recorded the sound the best looked the worst… but which would you prefer better looking or better sounding?  I went for better sounding.  Check it out here.

The Most Precious Commodity: Time

Bahahahahaha!  Insanity!  There is no time to sleep around here right now.  New guests, new things to do, work, cooking… etc.  Shannon, Addie, Dan, and I are constantly continuing the adventure that is New York.

Not much has really changed around here too much.  I am in and out of work constantly, as is Shannon, but it is a good thing for both us as we work in really cool places.  The more I

PDT: In Action

get to know our staff at Crif Dogs and PDT the more I love the place, I am lucky enough to work with some really good employees.  Shannon is absolutely ROCKING cocktail knowledge.  She is so on top of everything she has to learn, and to see her so curious and excited about it all is really fun.  Our bodies have yet to adjust to very weird schedules, and as of right now we both seem to be zombies all the time, but I am sure that our systems will adapt soon enough.

My sister seems to be fitting in like Manhattan was made for her.  It is great to see her in her element, now we just have to hunt her down a job!

Dan is taking his wine passion to all new heights and I have yet to catch him without a piece of wine literature in his hands.  It is a blast to be out with some one who doesn’t just dabble in wines, but knows wines.

Had the good pleasure to head out to Brooklyn a couple of nights ago to catch Tanner’s concert.  There is nothing quite as cool as when your get to appreciate your friends in their element.  Being able to see Tanner and Mike up on stage totally and completely into their music is absolutely amazing!  It is a good night when you get all of your friends together for a beer and some live great live music, and an even better night when the music is being played by your friends!  I am still trying to figure out the best way to include video on the blog, but I have some short clips of the concert.  My little cannon point and shoot cam takes great video, but the sound gets a little distorted so I have chosen some really random clips…

Dan and I have been trying to keep ourselves well immersed in the world around us and there is not a better way to do that then to just go for a long walk.  Recently we hit all of China Town, Little Italy, Financial District, World Trade Center, Tribeca, Meat Packing District, and West Village in an epically long walk.  I finally came to understand just how enormous the buildings really are that make up the NY skyline.  Seeing all of the wall street buildings and court houses… etc, in downtown is… humbling.  Amazing that such a small island holds all of these crazy neighborhoods and huge buildings, and it is so cool that you can walk in and out of all of these culture soaked places at a whim.  It can be kind of shocking to the senses.

Anyways, there is much much more to write about when I get a chance, and a lot of really big things coming up!  But here is the last week in photos: